The epidemic outcome of COVID restrictions imposed within the scope of a 2-Month-Long Plan, the performance of the Intensive Testing Program, and preparation for the vaccination process, were discussed today by the Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Government Administration.
It was noted at the meeting that almost 20,000 tests are being administered each day within the scope of the Intensive Testing Program, which will be continued this week as well. Analysis of the previous week gives us grounds for cautious optimism, as the test-positive indicator of the viral infection has declined to almost 22-23%. Epidemiologists particularly stressed the role of current restrictions in the relative stabilization of the epidemic stance and noted that it is essential to demonstrate particular caution and avoid a sharp increase of mobility so that achieved results are not jeopardized. The Inter-Agency Coordination Council analyses in detail the current epidemic situation witnessed in the country, the impact of the imposed restrictions, quality of their enforcement, and economic interests of the country for balanced decision-making.
It was once again noted that effective enforcement of the imposed restrictions is required, along with all the recommendations that need to be adhered to. They include the social distancing and uniform wearing of face masks. Specialists believe that even within the current COVID restrictions, special importance is acquired by facemasks for the stability of the situation and reduction of the community transfer rate. This indicator (i.e. uniform wearing of face masks) needs to increase from 65% to 90-95%, which, coupled with current restrictions, will lead to a clear improvement of the epidemic situation in the country.
In terms of COVID restrictions imposed within the scope of the 2-Month-Long Plan of the Government of Georgia, enforcement results have been presented in detail by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Head of Labor Inspection Department under the Ministry of Health to the Inter-Agency Coordination Council. Namely, 878 cases of violations have been detected through monitoring carried out nationwide by law enforcement bodies within the last 24 hours. Police have penalized 85 individuals for breaching the rules of isolation and/or quarantine, of which some violated the mobility ban from 21:00 to 05:00. In addition, 793 individuals were fined within the last 24 hours for not wearing facemasks.
Out of 382 facilities overseen through a joint effort of the Labor Inspection Department of the Ministry of Health, Inland Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance, National Food Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and Municipal Surveillance Services within the last 48 hours, initial inspection covered 340 facilities, of which verbal warnings were given to 268 facility owners. 42 facilities were re-inspected, out of which 32 were compliant, while 7 were again found in breach. 3 facilities were penalized for violating the rules of isolation and quarantine.
Steps made by the Specialized Task Force established with the instructions of the Prime Minister of Georgia for the uninterrupted flow of COVID vaccination process in the country have been discussed at the meeting today as well. It was noted that preparatory works launched for the vaccination stage, implying the timely supply, infrastructural and logistic works, are actively progressing. At the same time, apart from the COVAX platform, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas diplomatic missions of Georgia are engaged in the negotiations held with international partners and pharmaceutical companies.
The Council also discussed the availability of hospital beds in the healthcare sector of the country, along with measures aimed at mobilizing the additional resources and medical equipment in intensive and critical care units. Special attention was made on the significance of clinical hotels, which have intensified therapeutic elements and medical oxygen supply, as instructed by the Prime Minister of Georgia. It was noted that many clinical hotels are managed by specific healthcare facilities, which ensures permanent medical supervision of the referred patients, along with consistent monitoring of their health condition.
The Council discussed the global epidemic situation and namely the total number of infected reaching 73 million people, of which 700,000 new cases have been detected within the last 24 hours, while the global death toll exceeded 1.6 million people.
As for Georgia, since the detection of the first case of COVID-19, overall number of test-positive cases has reached 191 063, out of which 161 681 have recovered and 1 839 died.
At present, 986 individuals are in quarantine, 2,886 at clinical hotels and 6,912 at hospitals under medical supervision.
The Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by the Prime Minister of Georgia actively engages the Parliament of Georgia chaired by MP Archil Talakvadze and the Administration of the President of Georgia.